EDITING 101: 28 – Emphasising…

Check out this great post from The Story Reading Ape Blog on emphasizing.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing


Today’s blog post is about using scare quotes and italics for emphasis. As usual, these ways of emphasizing material can be useful and appropriate, but I see writers overdoing their use, which reduces their effectiveness.

What are scare quotes? It’s when you use a double set of quotation marks to set off a word or a phrase in order to emphasize it. Like this:

  • Rebecca just knew he was “the one” for her—the one she would spend the rest of her life with.

If these were the only scare quotes you used in your entire manuscript, nobody would have a problem with it. Well, probably nobody. But once writers start emphasizing words, they usually continue:

  • When Sarah peeked around the…

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